Dust agglomeration plays an important role in astrophysics and atmospheric sciences as well as in industrial processes. This article reviews the current knowledge of the physical interactions that lead to particle sticking in gaseous environments as well as the morphologies of the resulting dust aggregates. With this basic knowledge of dust–dust interactions, the development of ensembles of interacting dust particles can be treated using Smoluchowski's equation. Considering analytical solutions and simplified physical conditions, the temporal evolution and the mass distribution functions of dust aggregates are discussed. Based on this, general dust aggregation phenomena can be modelled and introduced into more complex scenarios.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität zu Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
Publication date: November 1, 2006